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Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill., Bob Fallstrom column [Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.]

Amy and Christoph Renwanz live in Farmington Hills, Mich., where Amy works in a bank and is pursuing a master's degree in accounting at Walsh College. Christoph is a software engineer for Bosch Company.

By Bob Fallstrom, Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Jan. 10--This is a story about the ins and outs, the twists and turns, the ecstasy and turmoil of true love.

Amy and Christoph Renwanz live in Farmington Hills, Mich., where Amy works in a bank and is pursuing a master's degree in accounting at Walsh College. Christoph is a software engineer for Bosch Company.

Was it meant to be? A promising early start didn't materialize.

Ultimately, true love blossomed. It happened because Amy studied German in high school.

In January 1996, Bob and Jane Sarver of Decatur receive a telephone call from Mark Younker, their insurance agent: "We've got this German kid, Christoph, and he doesn't seem to know English. Can Amy come over and translate?"

It turns out that Christoph's English is fine; he is just a shy young man. Amy and Christoph become friends and spend more and more time together.

Amy enrolls at Millikin University in August 1996, majoring in German. As a junior, she studies at the Institute of Education of Students in Berlin, Germany. She renews acquaintances with Christoph and they begin dating when she asks him out. Amy returns to Decatur and graduates with honors. Christoph attends the graduation ceremony.

In September 1999 they become engaged and try to maintain a long-distance relationship. It doesn't work. They break up in May 2000, although remaining friends.

Amy finds a new friend in Denny Leathers. She is employed as a lab technician at Archer Daniels Midland Co. He is a transport aide at Decatur Memorial Hospital. They are married May 19. 2001.

True love? "He was a wonderful guy," Amy declares. "We weren't right together." The marriage ends.

True love is still attainable, Amy feels. It just takes time and patience to bloom.

"The love game is never called off because of darkness," pointed out Tom Masson, an American humorist, 1866-1934.

In May 2008, the love game intensifies. Christoph comes to Decatur to visit. He and Amy take a trip together to Chicago. They get along so well that dating is discussed. It's agreed that for it to work they need to live closer to each other. So Amy decides to move to Germany and stay with Christoph until she finds a job.

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Three months later, Amy is still without a job and her tourist visa is about to expire. They face separation again. Just before Amy is to fly away, Christoph proposes.

Amy and Christoph are married March 7, 2009, in the Millikin Homestead. Christoph's parents and a brother fly here to attend the wedding. The newlyweds enjoy two honeymoons, one in Alton, the other in England. In 2010, they explore Australia.

True love? "We always end up with each other," Amy is sure.

bfallstrom@herald-review.com 421-7981

___

(c)2012 the Herald & Review (Decatur, Ill.)

Visit the Herald & Review (Decatur, Ill.) at www.herald-review.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Wordcount:474



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